Christmas just came early for some of Facebook’s critics.
Tens of thousands of Facebook employees had their personal banking information stolen last month after a burglar made off with a number of corporate hard drives grabbed from an employee’s car, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
Compounding matters, the hard drives were unencrypted, giving the thief access to details like employee bank account numbers, names, and the last four digits of their social security numbers. Altogether, 29,000 Facebook employees had their information compromised, Bloomberg reported. The hard drives also included salary and other payment details.
The robbery happened on Nov. 17, and Facebook realized the hard drives were gone three days later, per Bloomberg. A little more than a week later, a “forensic investigation” confirmed the stolen hard drives included personal banking information. Facebook let employees who were impacted by the robbery know via email on Friday, shortly before Bloomberg reported the story.
Facebook did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The company has taken what it called “appropriate disciplinary action” against the payroll employee who was robbed for taking the hard drives out of the office, according to Bloomberg.
“We worked with law enforcement as they investigated a recent car break-in and theft of an employee’s bag containing company equipment with employee payroll information stored on it,” a Facebook spokeswoman told Bloomberg. She added there was “no evidence of abuse.”
For those wary of the social network, the story likely gave them a bit of holiday schadenfreude, after Facebook has weathered a number of user privacy issues in the past two years. Facebook , in response to an investigation of its privacy woes, eventually settled with the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year for a record $5 billion. The settlement came after the FTC opened a probe into Facebook following its Cambridge Analytica data leak last year, where up to 87 million users had their profiles unwittingly accessed by the political consulting firm.
Facebook’s stock, which has enjoyed a bounce-back year in 2019, was down about 1% to $195 per share in early trading on Friday.